Meta, formerly known as the Facebook company, and Hutch have collaborated to allow all Hutch subscribers to access Facebook in ‘text-only’ mode without any data charges thereby enabling them to stay connected even when there is a delay in renewing their FB pack or they are out of balance.   

A simple tap of an icon on the Facebook screen will enable users to switch between regular Facebook and text-only Facebook without data charges whenever they need to. 

Users will still be able to update their status, send messages and post photos whilst on text-only mode, but videos and pictures will not be visible. 

Paul Kim, Meta’s Vice President for International Business Development and Operator Partnerships in APAC, said “In an increasingly digital world, consistent and reliable connectivity is critical for communication. We are pleased to partner with Hutch in Sri Lanka to help remove key obstacles so more people can remain connected.” 

Commenting on the launch of text-only Facebook, Mr. Thirukumar Nadarasa, CEO of Hutch Sri Lanka, stated, “At Hutch, we constantly strive to look for ways to improve our customers’ experience and connectivity. Facebook today is just not about personal updates but also an important communication tool that offers opportunities for local entrepreneurs to build and grow their businesses.” 

Along with this initiative, Meta and Hutch are also providing access to Discover, a mobile web and Android app that allows internet browsing in text mode up to 20MB of text-only content at no data charge per day. 

The Chair of LIRNEasia, Chair – Dr. Rohan Samarajiva speaking of the initiative said, stated “I am happy to see Discover and text-only Facebook being offered in Sri Lanka where affordability of internet services is still a barrier for some. Programs like Discover can help those who are under-connected to stay online even when they run out of data. This is especially helpful in light of the economic crisis, as spending power has eroded significantly. By allowing people to browse all websites on the internet equally, Discover also addresses any net neutrality or “walled garden” concerns. This is a positive step and we look forward to seeing how the program can benefit the people in Sri Lanka.

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